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Stenheim Alumine Three Loudspeakers, Einstein The Silver Bullet OTL Mono Amplifiers and The Pickup Phono Cartridge

By | April 15th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

There were two causes for excitement in Room 1534: the premiere of the Stenheim Alumine Three ($29,900/pair), the Swiss company’s newest three-way floorstander, and the return of Einstein Audio to the US. The latter comes courtesy of its new brand ambassador, Walter Swanbon of Fidelis AV. The sound wasn’t perfect—it was a little peaky on what may have been an unnaturally bright Deutsche Grammophon LP of Geza Anda playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.17, but it was still wonderful (and, sadly, the only Mozart I heard at the show).… Read the full article

Dynaudio Confidence 20 Speakers, Octave Jubilee Amplifiers, VPI Avenger Reference Turntable, Cardas Clear Cables

By | April 14th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

Loudspeakers by Danish manufacturer Dynaudio were featured in two rooms; both demonstrated exactly how clearly, and authoritatively precise, their speakers could sound when driven by amplifiers from the German manufacturer Octave. In Dynaudio’s big demonstration room I heard the $5000/pair Evoke 50 loudspeakers (the floorstanders in the photo above) being driven by an Octave V80SE integrated amplifier ($10,500), itself fed by a dCS Bartok DAC ($13,500), with all Nordost cables. Every musical selection made me think, very consciously, that this is the kind of sound 90% of the audiophiles on the planet would be proud to show off in their homes: well-voiced, properly punctuated, tight as a drum head, and clean as fresh snow.… Read the full article

Aavik M-300 Mono Amplifiers, Børresen 05 Loudspeakers, Naim CD5XS Transport, and Ansuz D-TC Supreme Cabling

By | April 13th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

It was hard to get a good photo of the Aavik/B?rresen/Ansuz system from Next Level HiFi of Wayne, IL, distributed by Gated HiFi, because the premiere Børresen 05 loudspeakers with D-TC Resonance Control ($120,000/pair) were spaced so far apart. But that spacing certainly didn’t stop the system from wowing listeners with its extremely strong bass, which on genuinely danceable party music was vibrating in my gut and propelling the 05s’ drivers back and forth. The exhibitors in the conference room underneath may have been cringing, but I ate up my opportunity to receive my first sonic massage of the day.… Read the full article

The 12 Most Significant Power Amplifiers of All Time

By | April 12th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , |

The 12 Most Significant Power Amplifiers of All Time

Kondo Audio Note Ongaku Resurrecting a Lost Art Hiroyasu Kondo resigned his position as an audio circuit designer at CBS to follow his dream of creating an amplifier that delivered “natural sound” free from “mechanical” artifacts. Kondo’s research led him to revisit the long-abandoned single-ended triode (SET) designs that were the first amplifiers built at the dawn of the electronics age. His enthusiasm for SET amplifiers was based on both reason and emotion. The engineer in him preferred the inherent simplicity and lower parts-count of SETs relative to other amplifier types—at least as long as high power was not a …… Read the full article

2018 Products of the Year: Amplifiers

By | March 7th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , , , |

2018 Products of the Year: Amplifiers

Integrated Amplifiers of the Year Constellation Inspiration Integrated 1.0 $13,500 The firm’s most affordable effort and the third entry in Constellation’s Inspiration Series, the 100Wpc Integrated 1.0 has the sonic character of a “control” amp in the most exacting and incisive sense of the word. Leaving nothing unexplored, it latches onto an audio signal with a death grip, not letting go until it reveals and resolves every sliver and shred of the program material. Its general tonal signature is dead-on neutral, its personality ever-so-slightly shaded to the cooler side of the spectrum, as befits a solid-state amp that doesn’t give …… Read the full article

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TriangleArt Ultimate TA-350M Monoblock Amplifiers

By | March 2nd, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

All components in BOLD are loaned; all components in standard face are owned by me.

Pete's Smaller System


Angel City Audio “Seraphim” in Rosewood, Apogee Acoustics Scintilla. 1 Ohm fully refurbished.


Spectron Musician III with V-caps/Bybee filters/Premium Fuses, Pro-Ject Phono Box DS+ phono stage.


Digital: Mytek Stereo192 DSD DAC, M-Audio Profire 610 ADC for archiving analog to high resolution PCM.

Software: Custom front end using modified Kodi back-end as a renderer controlled via JRiver Media Center. Bit perfect digital to DAC via Firewire.… Read the full article

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For Sale: Lamm M1.2 Reference hybrid mono amplifiers

By | February 28th, 2019|Categories: Audio Federation|Tags: , , |

We have a trade in pair of Lamm’s M1.2 Reference hybrid monobloc amplifiers for sale. Our customer has enjoyed these thoroughly but is now ready for a change. Beautiful condition, cosmetically and sonically, 7 years old. With original crates, manuals and packaging. These amps have not left our customer’s dedicated listening room since he received them brand new.

The Lamm sound is pure, rich and sophisticated. The M1.2 Reference are highly capable amplifiers suitable for driving a wide range of loudspeakers.… Read the full article

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Boulder Amplifiers 2108 Phono Preamplifier

By | February 26th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: |

The 2108 is Boulder’s second generation of 2000-level phono preamplifier, following and improving upon the multiple award winning 2008 phono stage.

22 February, 2019: Louisville, Colorado – Boulder Amplifiers is pleased to announce the immediate release and shipment of the 2108 Phono Preamplifier. The 2108 is a part of the 2100 Series and is Boulder’s reference level phono preamplifier.

The 2100 Series is Boulder’s highest-performing product line in continuous production.

The 2108 features several substantial advancements in technology and performance over the previous generation 2000-level phono preamplifier.… Read the full article

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What’s the deal with preamplifiers?

By | February 26th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , |

Beginner talk. In an age of DACs arriving with in-built lossless volume controls, the theory suggests that traditional pre-amplifiers are surplus to digital audio’s requirements. Personal experience over the years – with units from Schiit, PS Audio, Wyred 4 Sound and Vinnie Rossi – says otherwise. Returning a pre-amplifier to the mix adds body and weight to the sound. But why?

Time to tug on the coat of experienced audio electronics designer Vinnie Rossi to learn why the preamplifier’s role in an audio system is more than just signal routing and volume control.… Read the full article

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Bryston 28B³ Monoblock Power Amplifiers

By | January 16th, 2019|Categories: Audiophillia|

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According to its website, Bryston has been in business for 35 years, has 150 dealers in North America and is in 60 countries worldwide. That is very impressive for an audio company. Bryston headquarters is located in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, which is approximately a 2 hour drive from my hometown, Toronto.

Even though I have known about Bryston for decades, I have not reviewed any of their products nor have I heard any of their products for an extended period of time.… Read the full article

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